La Quinta Middle School Named Jostens Renaissance® School of Distinction

LA QUINTA — Jostens has named La Quinta Middle School a Renaissance School of Distinction.

This award was created to celebrate schools that have improved their climate and culture using the Renaissance formula: RESPECT + RECOGNIZE + REWARD + REINFORCE + RELATIONSHIPS = RESULTS.

“Jostens is honored to announce the 2023 Renaissance Schools of Distinction,” said Sara Sausker, Director of Jostens Renaissance Education. “The passion and dedication of these educators and student leaders has fostered school cultures where achievement, pride and belonging are valued. These schools used the Renaissance Results Formula™ to strengthen academic performance, increase engagement and create learning environments where teachers and students love Mondays. These efforts exemplify true commitment to student success.”

The School of Distinction Award was presented to 36 schools across North America, signifying the highest level of accomplishment. To reach this level, each school implemented strategies in eight or more separate areas and documented their successes during the rigorous application process.

La Quinta Middle School Activities Director and leadership teacher, Dr. Farah Ortega-Choate, said, “La Quinta Middle School was only one of 36 schools in the nation and only one of two schools in California to be recognized as a Jostens Renaissance School of Distinction for 2023. Not only did our school earn School of Distinction, but we earned the highest level of distinction, Platinum Level! We are truly humbled by this honor. Earning a School of Distinction Award means we are truly making a difference on our campus and in our community. I am so proud of the leadership students and staffulty, at our school, who work hard every day to create a positive school culture that ensures every student and staffulty member feels seen, recognized, and celebrated on our campus. Our goal is to create an environment where students and staffulty become family and our campus becomes a home. This award means we are reaching our goals and this was made possible through our school’s focus and implementation of the Jostens Renaissance core values, the Six R’s: respect + recognize + reward + reinforce + relationships = RESULTS. We are grateful for our award and will continue to make a difference!” Dr. Ortega-Choate was also recognized this year by Jostens Renaissance and named to their Hall of Fame. In a statement provided by Jostens, “This award is designed to recognize the passion and dedication of educators who are a driving force in impacting students’ academic performance and character.  Farah has certainly demonstrated that at La Quinta Middle School and previous schools over the past 21 years.”

La Quinta Middle School was recognized at the Jostens Renaissance Global Conference in July. The school will receive a banner — along with other tokens of recognition — to commemorate this achievement.





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  • Jostens school of distinction-: Jostens